Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Royal Rumble 2020 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a gauge range of Scorching, Hot, Lukewarm, Temperate, Chilly, Cold and Freezing. The hotter, the better, as that indicates your level of excitement, anticipation and faith that it will be good.
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
30-Woman Royal Rumble Match = Scorching
It’s a Royal Rumble match. This stretch of time is among my favorite things of the year, if booked correctly. It’s (at least theoretically) a full hour of fun surprises, nerves, cool little moments to get the adrenaline going and hopefully, a fitting end that gets everyone pumped for WrestleMania.
Of course, there is a chance it gets booked poorly and everything goes haywire and the match is boring. However, I don’t necessarily think that will be the case with the women’s match. I anticipate a couple of standout performers with The Queen of Spades standing tall at the end, ready to face Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 36.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler wins.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match = Scorching
It’s a Royal Rumble match…but Brock Lesnar is starting at #1. That could mean that this is very different for the better or the worse.
To say I’m worried that this will be an utter dud is an understatement. In fact, part of me is getting prepared that it could be 20-60 minutes of Lesnar making each superstar, one by one, look like a total loser no matter how high up on the card they are. I’m talking 60 seconds a piece, even if you’re Samoa Joe or Braun Strowman, you’re getting tossed out so Lesnar can laugh and Paul Heyman can cut a promo. Think CM Punk in 2010, but much longer and less interesting.
Then, someone like Cain Velasquez will come out and toss him over and either win the whole thing toward the end or get involved in a scuffle with Lesnar that takes him out, too. In fact, maybe this will be the #1 and #2 situation and then, we’ll have a normal Royal Rumble.
There are options, so I’m still Scorching on this, but don’t be surprised if in my review, I’m beyond annoyed at what happens.
Prediction: 33% Cain Velasquez, 33% Brock Lesnar, 33% Roman Reigns, 0.5% Kevin Owens and 0.5% Drew McIntyre wins.
Universal Championship Strap Match: Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan = Temperate
The pure middle ground average Temperate rating is being generous. I just saw this match and I honestly can’t remember anything being amazing about it, so why would I be salivating to see it again?
The big selling point of why this is different is that it’s a strap match. That’s better than nothing, but it still isn’t enough to wow me. At least Bryan has a haircut now, but he isn’t winning the title—especially not with Kane being the challenger for the February Saudi Arabia show.
What this boils down to is an exercise in futility.
Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka = Hot
I’ll give WWE credit, they took a situation where they had a complete void of challengers for Becky Lynch, remembered that it had been a year since she dropped the SmackDown Women’s Championship to Asuka and managed to come full circle.
Now, I don’t for a second believe that was planned. I think this was a lucky accident. They managed to make the best out of a bad situation that they have nobody to blame for other than themselves.
Since then, they’ve tried to put Asuka over as this mountain that The Man hasn’t been able to climb, and I dig it. When Lynch wins, it’ll feel like she actually did overcome something and wasn’t just retaining her title over someone who was a waste of a 20 minute segment.
Prediction: Becky Lynch wins.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans = Cold
This whole storyline has been hard for me to get into as I’m not liking the feud itself, nor any of the three characters involved.
Sasha Banks as someone who doesn’t do much of anything is a snooze. Bayley as a heel…I’ve given her enough time and I just need to admit she’s not doing it for me. Lacey Evans as a babyface is in the same boat. I’m from the north. I’m pretty much never going to be going nuts over apple pie, sweet tea, “southern charm”, old school pin-up, let’s ignore the gray areas in politics at the moment and just whistle Dixie type of mentality that this character revolves around. God forbid Lacey’s kid gets involved, too.
None of this has been for me. If you love it, I’m glad. Right now, I’m worried the SmackDown women’s title is in a horrendously uninteresting state heading into WrestleMania and is doomed no matter who wins.
Prediction: Bayley wins.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns = Chilly
I had this lower before they changed it to Falls Count Anywhere. Even with that stipulation (which I think is underutilized and a lot of fun) it still isn’t making me go nuts.
We just saw basically the same thing at TLC. They’ve been fighting for months. What is so different and special about this that this time is going to be more magical?
I’m not bursting in excitement when someone tells me that I can witness the same thing that I’ve seen multiple times, but only slightly tweaked. I’m interested when it is something new or there’s an element that changes the dynamic.
Prediction: Roman Reigns wins.
United States Championship Match: Andrade (c) vs. Humberto Carrillo = Freezing
I just don’t get the appeal of Humberto Carrillo. I feel like he’s incredibly bland—more so than plenty of other people who have been criticized far worse than he has been—and I have absolutely nothing in my gut that says he could be a good United States champion.
If he wins the title, I’ll be underwhelmed about what that belt will be up to come WrestleMania. To be honest, I’ll just be waiting until he drops it so we can move on.
I don’t think the match will be anything much, either, so even if Andrade retains, it’ll be something I expect to look back on and wish the event had just ended sooner without it.